Backpacking, hiking and camping are enjoyable activities, but there is the very real danger of getting lost in the wilderness or underestimating the time it takes to return to the starting point of the adventure. Spending a night in the outdoors may not sound like a dangerous undertaking, but if you factor in inclement weather, the potential for injuries, and also a lack of water and food, knowing worldwide wilderness survival facts may be the difference between surviving an unplanned time alone in the wilderness, and succumbing to the challenges. Read on for some worldwide wilderness survival facts you want to know about before you leave for the next trip into the backcountry.
Worldwide Wilderness Survival Starts Before You Leave
Write down your plan for the outing. Be specific and jot down where you are going, how you are getting there, who is with you, and when you expect to return. Leave this information with a trusted friend or family member. If you get injured on your trip and lie helpless in a ravine, having searchers come after you as soon as you fail to meet your self-imposed return deadline may get you medical attention sufficiently early to prevent long-term health problems.
Pack a Survival Kit
Buy or pack a survival kit that you bring along on even short hikes. It should be placed in a waterproof pouch and contain a whistle, flashlight, replacement batteries, compass, fire starter, medical emergency supplies, fishing hooks and line, water purification tablets and a map. Staying warm, having the ability to catch food and create drinkable water, and also having several different signaling means available is crucial to being found quickly and alive.
Know the Local Wildlife
Find out about the animals you are likely to encounter. If you enter snake country, make it your habit to walk with a stick and stir up the ground in front of you if there are leaves obstructing your view. A snake may attack the stick, warn you ahead of time of its presence, or it may be sufficiently frightened off to slither away. Wild cats may be scared off by a camp fire, and you may need to sustain it throughout the night when there are mountain lions in the area. Food must be stored away from your campsite in bear country and knowing--ahead of time--how to react if attacked by a bear, literally means the difference between life and death in many cases.
Understand the Weather
Remember that some areas are prone to sudden climate changes. For example, the Colorado Rockies are well known for seeing a change in weather that ranges from warm sunshine to blizzard like conditions in the span of an hour. Knowing ahead of time what kind of weather patterns to expect in the region you are entering lets you be on the lookout for telltale cloud formations and may also signal the early end of a hike or camping trip.